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Abu Hamza found guilty of supporting terrorist organisations

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 20, 2014

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Radical cleric Abu Hamza, pictured, could face life in prison following trial involving Gloucester-born supergrass Saajid Badat. Picture: Johnny Green/PA Wire

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Radical cleric Abu Hamza has been convicted on terrorism charges following a lengthy trial in New York involving evidence given by Gloucester-born ‘supergrass’ Saajid Badat.

The north London preacher, who was tried under the name Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, could face life in prison after a federal court in New York found him guilty of supporting terrorist organisations, including aiding the taking of hostages in Yemen and seeking to set up an al Qaida training camp in the US.

Badat, 35, who in 2005 pleaded guilty to conspiring to blow up an aircraft, was released around five years early from a 13-year jail sentence, after agreeing to give evidence against alleged terror plotters.

During the trial, he told how Osama Bin Laden had given him a hug and wished him well before a suicide shoe-bombing mission he eventually backed out of.

Egyptian-born Hamza led the Finsbury Park Mosque in the 1990s, reportedly attended by both September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and shoe bomber Richard Reid, though the cleric denied ever having met them.

He later spread violent messages there following the attacks of September 11 2001.

The 56-year-old preacher was jailed in the UK for seven years for soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred in 2006 and first faced an extradition request from the Americans in 2004.

After a protracted legal battle he was extradited to the US in October 2012.

Hamza will be sentenced on September 8, three days before the 13th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Speaking today, David Cameron pledged to "take more steps" to speed up the deportation of people who pose a threat to Britain.

The Prime Minister said it was "good that he has faced justice" and insisted he would take action to speed up the extradition process if the Conservatives remain in government next year.

He told the BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think it's good that he has faced justice and justice has been done.

"I think we should reflect on whether we can extradite faster.

"I think Theresa May, the Home Secretary, did a brilliant job.

"It took 10 years but Abu Hamza, off to America, and, of course, Abu Qatada, deported to Jordan.

"We have made progress in a way no government before us has made progress and we should be clear that we have got a good domestic record in terms of prosecuting and convicting people who are guilty of terrorist offences here in Britain."

He added: "I think speeding up extradition and speeding up deportation... I think we need to look at the avenues of appeal that there are and make sure that those are gone through more quickly, and we have made changes there.

"Obviously, we also need to look, as I've said many times, at the European Convention on Human Rights and the position that we have got to get into where, if someone threatens our country, we should be able to deport them if they have no right to be here and that is absolutely essential that we restore that.

"We have taken some big steps but I plan to take more steps if I'm elected as a Conservative Prime Minister after the next election.”

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3 comments

  • RoadWombat  |  May 25 2014, 5:54PM

    And whilst he was here. of course, he enriched our society with his vibrant multiculturalism!

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  • Douglasknows  |  May 22 2014, 11:23AM

    I dont understand why this country couldn't have meted out justice here and had to eventually pack him off the the US for them to do it. Still, alls well that ends well I suppose.

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  • Justica  |  May 20 2014, 4:54PM

    At last this evil dealer in death has been convicted by a US court and hopefully, will now spend the rest of his days in jail. To get to the point of his extradition, numerous appeals and very costly legal wrangling, he manage to stall this happening, meanwhile costing the British taxpayer £100,000 in benefits and still preaching his poison. He described Britain as a 'toilet', but like many of his Islamic terrorist cohorts, they never want to leave here because the authorities are reluctant to take action and they are very well looked after with housing, education and of course, benefits.

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